A few months ago I took a family vacation to the Pacific Northwest. We stayed near Port Townsend (a couple hours out of Seattle) and explored the entire area over about a week. My favorite part was exploring the Bloedel Reserve, which nurtures the most beautiful and rarest features of the lush native landscape, from mushrooms to hundreds of types of moss. They also have a beautiful Japanese garden and French style manor where the founders of the Reserve once lived. The day we visited was overcast and slightly drizzly – the perfect type of weather for this kind of environment.
Another interesting area we explored was Fort Worden. We started by taking a long walk along the wet, sandy beach, then retraced our steps, but this time atop the cliffs above the sea. We came across a couple decommissioned military buildings, whose metal doors had turned brilliant colors thanks to the incessantly damp weather. There was even a set of tracks that led out onto an open platform overlooking the water. Apparently a big gun could be rolled out to the edge to defend the coastline, but now it just looks rather surreal – overgrown and forgotten, like a train track leading to nowhere.
One other memorable activity (besides a jigsaw puzzle back at our condo), was building about a dozen little stone towers on the beach, which was blanketed in smooth rocks rather than sand. We started with one stack, then decided to cover an entire driftwood log in little towers, then we took it one step further and tried to balance them on top of protruding sticks – needless to say, most of our more ambitiously perched towers didn’t stay up for too long, and we had a good laugh.
The moody vibe, deep colors and rich textures of this region will stick in my mind. I’d highly recommend visiting the Bloedel Reserve if you ever find yourself nearby.
Port Townsend itself was really charming. I especially loved the old architecture and murals, and the main street was filled with locally-owned shops, cafés and restaurants. There was even the most darling little movie theatre that you have to visit! It was so old-fashioned, with velvet curtains and floral carpeting. I loved every place we visited in Port Townsend! I’ll list my favorite addresses below.
Great little historic movie theatre – a must-visit!
235 Taylor St, Port Townsend, WA 98368
Better Living Through Coffee
Amazing coffee drinks and great view from big picture windows inside
100 Tyler St, Port Townsend, WA 98368
We ate here like 4 times during our trip and the owners started to recognize us. Great food, casual atmosphere, family-run vibe
215 Tyler St, Port Townsend, WA 98368
200 Battery Way Port Townsend, WA 98368
7571 NE Dolphin Drive
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
Bainbridge Island Museum of Art
They had some really great temporary exhibitions when we visited. The whole family enjoyed.
550 Winslow Way E, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
Via Rosa 11 Italian Kitchen
Freshly-made pasta, super authentic Italian food in a bright, cheerful and casual setting
10320 NE Valley Rd, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110